Mother's Day will soon be here and this will be a bittersweet time for my sisters and me. We've always made efforts to be with our mom, if not on THE day, then on the Saturday prior to Mother's Day. My two sisters have "green thumbs" and obviously received the gardening gene from our mother's side of the family. They usually purchase pansies or other flowers our mom loves and plant them for her. I didn't receive the gardening gene so I'm often on the sidelines wondering why people like to play in the dirt. Give me a yard of fabric, some thread, and a pattern . . . or some cats to tend . . . or a new recipe to try . . . and I'm in my own little world, but I don't enjoy getting down and dirty with worms, insects, and other creepy crawlies found in soil. It's just not me, though I can appreciate those who have the talent for gardening.
Since Mom now resides in an assisted living facility and had a very difficult time readjusting after her Easter visit, my sisters and I decided to not bring her here for Mother's Day. It's a bit of painful choice but better for all involved. Just last week, upon returning from a doctor appointment, Mom became disoriented and didn't recognize the place in which she now lives. She said she wasn't going inside, wasn't going to spend the night there, and on it went. I had to think quickly and suggested we were searching for a bathroom. She was fine with that and once we reached her floor, she began to recognize the hall, the diningroom, and finally, her room. She actually seemed relieved to be in her own room among familiar things. So, this Sunday, we'll each visit her separately, since a crowd confuses her too, and then meet back here to visit and share a meal. It will be very different, but it can still be good. Mom no longer has a concept of time so it will be easier on all of us if we simply slip into her room, give her our tokens of affection, then slip back out after a short visit. Sometimes I can't believe it's come to this, but other times I realize my sisters and I have been on this journey for years. We've simply encountered a bend in the road. We will adjust and do what we can considering the situation we have. It can still be a Happy Mother's Day.
We ordered Mom a little couch and she now spends hours looking out her window at the gazebo, the flowers, the cars coming and going, and the birds and other wildlife. Window gazing and Bingo seem to be her only interests right now. I'm stunned at how quickly she's declining, yet I feel at peace knowing she's in a safe place and has everything she needs - except for one thing. As she so aptly expressed last week, "I sure wish I knew where my mind went".